Links: Expansion of the Supreme Court; the “four freedoms”; vaccination warrants
CNN reports on Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to increase the number of Supreme Court justices. I am a huge fan of Warren, I agree that the current tribunal is likely to wreak havoc on many issues of importance, and we can lay the blame directly at the feet of Senator Mitch McConnell, whose unprecedented refusal to bring the Merrick Garland’s nomination to vote in 2016 was an attack on democracy. But racing the court is not the answer. At this point in history, we must preserve and protect the institutions we have. Whatever grievances each of us have with the current tribunal, they did not join Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. (And I pray that Warren will easily recover from his recent recent past. COVID-19 diagnosis!)
In the Washington Post, EJ Dionne Agree with Warren, arguing that McConnell has already filled the field. Dionne highlights an often overlooked part of Warren’s concern, which I share:
She is particularly concerned that by bringing social issues such as abortion to the fore, judicial conservatives are covering themselves with court rulings that strengthen corporate power, reduce employees’ ability to fight back and undermine capacity. government to regulate economic activity in the public interest.
But I still think racing the tribunal any further is the wrong approach.
In the Des Moines Register, Jack Hatch and David Balducchi call back that January 6 marks not only the anniversary of the insurgency that attacked American democracy, but the day in 1941 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave vital expression to the values ââof democracy in his “four freedoms” speech in Congress. Hatch and Balducchi offer a to-do list for all of us who want to preserve FDR’s vision and the memory of those who have fought in various ways, at home and abroad, over the past 80 years to preserve our democracy.
CNB reports on the decision of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the first Latin American civil rights organization, to remove the neologism “Latinx” from all its official communications. A recent survey indicated that only 2% of Latinos have used the term, but it is often used by white liberals as a way to signal their compliance with the linguistic orthodoxies of the left. This is no different from the way some conservative bishops relocate the tabernacle to the main sanctuary of their cathedral to signal their conformity to pre-Vatican II liturgical tastes. In the first case you end up with an ugly word and in the second you end up with an ugly shrine. So much the better for LULAC.
At RNS, Mark Silk looks to the scandalous dissent of Deputy Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch in last week’s ruling on religious exemptions from vaccination warrants. And Silk rightly points to an issue in our current First Amendment case law. “The only test that courts can use to determine the legitimacy of a religious belief is sincerity,” he wrote. “What if someone sincerely believes something that is patently wrong?” Gorsuch, being a libertarian, it is good to grant legal exemptions to all religious beliefs, but this ignores the relationship of rights to the common good.
At the front, Victoria Myers remember one of the first plots of the show “I Love Lucy” which challenged anti-Semitic norms common in many social circles, not to mention once that she challenged anything. As a bonus, the episode was hilarious.
Last Sunday’s Gospel places the Blessed Mother at the center of Advent time. In fact, Advent is the Marian time par excellence, and we could well say that the whole Church waits in Advent as she then awaited the birth of her child. The Marian antiphon “Alma Redemptoris Mater” is sung throughout the season at Compline, and Palestrina has designed a beautiful motet around the theme, sung here by the Sistine Chapel choir.